In late October, Inslee circumvented a bipartisan Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup by signing a climate agreement with Cest Coast governors and BC Premier. The legislators only found out about it because the press obtained and published the draft agreement. The Washington Policy Center went into detail about it here.
The agreement includes transitioning to clean modes of transportation, which include fuels, cars and rail. It also talks about investing in clean energy and “climate-resilient infrastructure.”
According to the Washington Policy Center:
For example, if the agreement is consistent with what the governor has already announced, it is likely to include a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS). According to the admittedly flawed study from SAIC, the low-carbon fuel standard is the second most expensive and one of the least effective approaches to cutting carbon emissions.
The LCFS has a minimum cost ten times as high as carbon reduction under California’s cap-and-trade system. There is simply no way to justify an LCFS.
A number of biofuel companies advocate such a policy. Their advocacy, however, is little more than an appeal for corporate welfare – enriching themselves at the cost of carbon reduction.
The only policy even more expensive is a zero-emission vehicle mandate. According to the SAIC report, the ZEV mandate costs $266 per ton of carbon emissions reduced – this is twenty-four times as expensive as the price of a ton of reductions in California.
If either of these policies is included in the Governors’ agreement, it would completely ignore SAIC’s report.
The same can be said about any agreement which includes “investing in clean energy.” As we pointed out recently, spending money on renewable energy in Washington state yields tiny environmental benefits at very high cost.
If any of these policies are included in an agreement, then one wonders why we passed legislation, spent a year and hundreds of thousands of dollars on a report and took public comment if the governor is simply going to ignore that report and the process when it is convenient?